Make Doggerland Great Again

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Two things first drew my eyes to the work of Maxim Peter Griffin when I first encountered him on Twitter: the bold quality of his artwork, and his references to Doggerland.


Doggerland, the Atlantis of the English Orient, the lost lands sunk by the tsunami of the Storegga Slides started to become a fascination for me when I was compiling Managed Retreat and beginning to formulate a conception of an eastern bioregion defined by its relationship with water. As Captain Floud noted in the opening text:

Along the eastern shore of Britain the line between sea and land has been sketched many times and any particular stroke we might consider now as definitive tells us more about our place in time than about the place’s place in space.

As climate change and the isostatic rebound conspire to provide the German Sea with new footholds on the territory, the forgotten fields of Doggerland and the stories buried beneath the brine seem to demand to be spoken of again.

The English Orient I plotted stretched between Humber and Thames, from Warplands to the Fanns – but truth be told I’m an Essex boy and certainly lost by the time I get to Lincolnshire – thus my focus becomes more granular on this site to the pays about the rivers Blackwater, Crouch and Roach. But Griffin reads and writes and pictures those northern reaches and keeps, for me, that stretch of the Orient alive and in mind. I tread in synch with the walking, I dig the Psychedelic Geology.

So I was pleased to be able to pledge support for his forthcoming book Field Notes at Unbound and I suggest that you might like to do the same too (Griffin’s Field Notes via Twitter & Tumblr were one influence on my more prosaic Beating the Bounds posts). In the video below, Griffin tells you what it’s all about, and here’s some words from the Unbound site too

Field Notes is about looking. It is about exposure to the elements. It is about deep history and the present. It is about being present in space, a space that happens to be Lincolnshire.

Field Notes is about landscape. It is about topography and time. Chalk and flint and sea marsh. The coming and going of the sea, Neolithic farmers and the razzle dazzle of weary coastal towns. It is as much about the ghost of a mammoth as it is the scream of a jet fighter, heading east. It is about movement – the strike of a brush, the pan of a camera – flames in the woods. Each drawing is a still from a film – a film that is under constant production inside Griffin’s skull.



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